[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 483: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 112: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 112: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 112: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 112: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 112: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/bbcode.php on line 112: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/functions.php on line 4752: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at [ROOT]/includes/functions.php:3887)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/functions.php on line 4754: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at [ROOT]/includes/functions.php:3887)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/functions.php on line 4755: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at [ROOT]/includes/functions.php:3887)
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/includes/functions.php on line 4756: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at [ROOT]/includes/functions.php:3887)
Outlining the Plot. : Conversation question • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Outlining the Plot.

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
User avatar
DrG2
Colonel
 
Posts: 2714
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:13 pm

Outlining the Plot.

Postby DrG2 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:50 pm

Normally, I like to have a beginning (which often changes) and an ending, and one or more waypoints between the beginning and the end. But I've just come up with an idea which I really like, but I don't have an ending. I have a rather detailed character, a first chapter, several scenes along the way (I need him to get arrested along the way, but that should be no problem), and I'm OK with not knowing what the ending will be (either he comes out OK or he doesn't).

My problem is that I know I need him to get caught between a number of threats as his house of cards collapses, but I have no idea how to construct that collapse: both the "what happens" and the timing of it all. (it probably would be crime fiction).

If you don't know how major portions of the plot will unfold do you:
1) start writing and figure it will all work itself out.
2) work on the plot before you really start writing.
3) put it on the back burner until you stumble upon the solution.

I'm probably leaning towards 3), thinking maybe I should read more crime fiction.

User avatar
MookyMcD
Captain
 
Posts: 1446
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:45 pm
Location: Boise, Idaho

Re: Outlining the Plot.

Postby MookyMcD » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:15 am

I do (which, like nearly all writing advice, just means it seems to work for me, not that it's the best way for someone else to write a different book) a combination of 1 and 3. I hope my first stab at it reveals the best solution, and I write through it, but if events down the road make me think of a way to nuance it or something completely different that is better, I have no qualms about going back and changing it. Well, that's what happens when I'm actually writing. Usually, if a problem like that crops up, it's on my mind when I'm walking the dog and when I'm working out (which seem to be my big-picture thinking time, whether I want it to be or not). So there's likely going to be a dozen or more hours of No. 2 mixed in there, too.

So I guess my answer to your list is, "Yes."

James A. Ritchie
Lieutenant General
 
Posts: 4257
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:31 am

Re: Outlining the Plot.

Postby James A. Ritchie » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:26 am

Since I don't plot, I just write, of course. I do know many who outline, though, and almost none of them write an outline that holds up, that goes the way they plan it all the way through. No matter what solution you come up with, chances are good that it will change as you write.

Most I know who outline don't even try to outline in that kind of detail. The outline is most like to read, (Protagonist's name) gets caught between a number of threats as his house of cards collapses, The work out the threats as they write.

I don't think there's anything wrong with having a back burner book. I usually have one on the back burner, not because I don't know how to write it, but because it's one I want to write, but may not have time for because of everything else I have to write in the next year or so. The only thing wrong with a back burner book is that it can sometimes stop a writer from tackling the kind of tough projects he needs to write in order to grow.

User avatar
Crono91
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 823
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:13 pm

Re: Outlining the Plot.

Postby Crono91 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:26 pm

I outline; (and I encourage new writers who cannot seem to finish a novel to do the same).

I typically "think" about my story for a few weeks;
then I typically outline each chapter--a few points.

As James said, the outline doesn't usually stay the same throughout. That's the best part about writing. New ideas come mid-write, which causes a shift. The point is that there is never a day where I'm sitting down to write and I think, "Wow, I don't know what is about to happen, or how to start," and I just stare at the screen. I know my beginning, middle, and end; which helps me do perhaps one of my favorite things in writing: create subtle clues about the plot that the reader doesn't pick up on until the second time reading. Hard to make a clue about chapter 18 in chapter 3 when you aren't aware of how it's already going to progress.

Outline is perhaps more important for my genre of action/adventure; unique world. It's plot heavy, which requires a complete understanding of every element. If I just sat down and wrote without planning, more than enough plot holes would arise.
Be proud of your mistakes when they form from blinding passion. But now edit them.

User avatar
DrG2
Colonel
 
Posts: 2714
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:13 pm

Re: Outlining the Plot.

Postby DrG2 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:15 pm


James A. Ritchie
Lieutenant General
 
Posts: 4257
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:31 am

Re: Outlining the Plot.

Postby James A. Ritchie » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:32 am


User avatar
Crono91
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 823
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:13 pm

Re: Outlining the Plot.

Postby Crono91 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:40 pm

Be proud of your mistakes when they form from blinding passion. But now edit them.

User avatar
Crono91
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 823
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:13 pm

Re: Outlining the Plot.

Postby Crono91 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:45 pm

Be proud of your mistakes when they form from blinding passion. But now edit them.

James A. Ritchie
Lieutenant General
 
Posts: 4257
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:31 am

Re: Outlining the Plot.

Postby James A. Ritchie » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:27 pm


User avatar
Crono91
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 823
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:13 pm

Re: Outlining the Plot.

Postby Crono91 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:13 pm

Be proud of your mistakes when they form from blinding passion. But now edit them.

Next

Return to Conversation question

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests